When Notre Dame Football has a home game, fans from all over the country come to South Bend to “cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame.” Whether this is your first time seeing a Notre Dame Football game or you make a trip every year to see a game, there is so much to do both on campus and in the community throughout the weekend. Here are four checklists for every type of fan to use when they are in town for a game.
Checklist #1: Family Friendly
Enjoy the tradition and fun of a home football game with the entire family.
CHEER FOR NOTRE DAME AT THE PEP RALLY
Sing along as the Notre Dame Marching Band plays the Victory March, watch the Notre Dame Leprechaun do the Irish Jig, and hear from football players and coaches.
TAKE THE FAMILY OUT FOR DINNER AT BARNABY’S
Craving some pizza? Head to Barnaby’s for a great Italian meal in a family friendly atmosphere. Voted “Best Local Pizza” during the 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards.
EXPERIENCE GAME DAY THE RIGHT WAY
On game days, make your way to the Joyce Fieldhouse in the Joyce Center for “The Notre Dame Experience.” There are games, food, giveaways, and even a chance to get autographs from ND Football legends.
HIGH-FIVE YOUR FAVORITE PLAYERS AT THE PLAYER WALK
Wish your favorite players luck as the team makes its way through campus to the stadium. The Player Walk takes place 2 hours and 15 minutes before kickoff.
SING, CLAP, AND CHEER FOR THE ND MARCHING BAND
Head to Bond Hall before the game as the band performs a short concert then watch as they “step-off” from the front steps of the Golden Dome and head to the stadium.
Checklist #2: Bucket List
Attending a Notre Dame Football home game should be on every football fan’s bucket list.
TAKE A NOTRE DAME STADIUM TUNNEL TOUR
On Football Friday’s, see what it is like to walk out of the tunnel in Notre Dame Stadium and take your picture with the field in the background.
EXPERIENCE TRUMPETS UNDER THE DOME
The Marching Band’s trumpet section gathers under the Golden Dome on Friday’s at 4:10pm to play “Notre Dame Our Mother” and the “Notre Dame Victory March.”
GRAB A BITE AT ROCCO’S RESTAURANT
Open since 1951, this family-owned Italian restaurant serves up “South Bend’s first original pizza.”
HAVE A COLD ONE AT CORBY’S IRISH PUB
You may recognize this Irish pub for its guest appearance in the movie, Rudy. Enjoy a cold brew, have a bite to eat, and play a game of cornhole alongside fellow Irish fans.
WAKE UP THE ECHOES AT MIDNIGHT DRUMMER’S CIRCLE
Before going to bed on Friday, meet the Marching Band’s drumline in front of the Golden Dome at midnight as they play the drum cadences for the game and a few fan favorites like the Notre Dame Fight Song.
Checklist #3: Alumni
Come back to your old stomping grounds, and see what has changed since you left.
TAKE A CAMPUS TOUR
See what has changed since the last time you were a student and enjoy a guided tour around your alma mater.
LIGHT A CANDLE AT THE GROTTO
While you are on campus, make sure to light a candle at the Grotto like you did so many times before as a student.
ENJOY A MEAL AT CAFÉ NAVARRE OR LASALLE KITCHEN & TAVERN
Head downtown for some great dinner options. Café Navarre offers fine dining and a great wine selection. LaSalle Kitchen and Tavern is South Bend’s first gastropub.
CHECK OUT THE SOUTH BEND RIVER LIGHTS
Be sure to check out the River Lights in downtown South Bend and play with the interactive light display as the St. Joseph River comes alive with color.
TAKE A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE AT THE “BACKER”
To those who just pass by it, it is called the Linebacler Lounge.” To students and alumni, it is simply “The Backer.” Dance the night away with friends and don’t forget your $5 cover charge.
Checklist #4: Annual Visitor
You have the same itinerary every year, but try out something new this time around.
HAVE A COLD, LOCAL BREW
Grab a locally brewed drink at one of the several microbreweries in town.
– South Bend Brew Werks, in South Bend
– Crooked Ewe Brewery & Ale House, in South Bend
– Evil Czech Brewery & Public House, in Mishawaka
– Bare Hands Brewery, in Granger
LISTEN TO LIVE CELTIC MUSIC AT FIDDLER’S HEARTH
Another local favorite in downtown South Bend. Enjoy great live music, high quality food and a pint of your favorite Celtic ale at this family friendly gathering place.
TRY A TOP-SHELF COCKTAIL AT THE EXCHANGE WHISKEY BAR
Have a drink in a truly unique setting. Once an ol bank building, The Exchange Whiskey Bar carries close to 150 whiskeys and craft old style prohibition era cocktails.
GRAB DINNER AT MAIN ST. GRILLE
Treat yourselves for dinner and a drink at this locally owned restaurant in downtown Mishawaka. Wide ranging menu that includes pasta dishes, seafood, and steaks.
VISIT GUGLIELMINO COMPLEX
This state of the art facility houses coaches’ offices, practice facilities and various awards won by former Notre Dame legends. On Friday’s, fans can come see the awards, including the Heisman trophies and the National Championship trophy.
Be sure to fly into South Bend when you are visiting the University of Notre Dame! The South Bend International Airport is serviced by three air carriers (Delta, Allegiant, and United) providing nonstop flights to ten major cities. It is also the only airport in the United States to offer air, interstate rail and bus service in one location.